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Suffolk Car Insurance

If you are purchasing a car in Suffolk, Virginia, or you are moving to Suffolk with a car that you already own, you must purchase a minimum amount of insurance before you will receive your plates or decals.

It is against the law to register a vehicle that is not insured by a Virginia auto insurance company, or to let your insurance lapse while the vehicle is still licensed to be driven on public roadways.

If either of these scenarios happen, you can face some serious and expensive penalties that may wind up costing more than it would to keep your insurance valid.

If you are not familiar with the auto insurance laws for residents of Suffolk, it is time to familiarize yourself with them.

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You need to learn about more than just the state requirements, you also need to learn about what it takes to build a fully comprehensive insurance policy that you can afford.

While many assume that buying car insurance is a time-consuming and painful process, it does not have to take up your precious time if you know which resources you can use.

Read this guide to buying Suffolk Car Insurance, and learn everything that you need to know.

What are the state requirements in Virginia?

Drivers are required to abide by state law in the state where they have their primary residence.

If you live in Suffolk, you must comply with Virginia auto insurance laws. The Virginia law states that anyone who owns a vehicle that is registered in the state must carry auto insurance from a company that is licensed by the Bureau of Insurance.

You must choose a licensed company for your own protection so that you can file a complaint with the Bureau if you ever have a problem.

The Virginia law states that you must have liability insurance if you do not pay an uninsured motor vehicle fee. Liability insurance consists of both Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage.

Here is a breakdown and what these options cover and how much coverage you must have:

  • Bodily Injury - If you get in an accident that you are responsible for, Bodily Injury will pay for the medical bills the third-party victims accrue. This may include the cost of emergency transportation, hospital bills, physician visits, medications and lost wages. Virginia law states you can have no less than $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for the entire accident.
  • Property Damage - If you get into an at-fault accident, you also have to pay for the repairs to the property that you do not own. This coverage will also pay if someone in the home or someone you give permission causes damages while driving your car. You can carry no less than $20,000 in Property Damage, which covers all of the repairs for all property damaged in a single accident.

Alternative Options to Insurance

While insurance is required, you can pay a fee to drive around the state uninsured.

The uninsured motor vehicle fee must be paid to the Department of Motor Vehicle at the time a vehicle without insurance is registered. The fee of $500 will be collected for a period of 1 year, and eliminates your need to comply with the auto insurance laws.

Unfortunately, many people who choose to do this do not realize that they are liable for the medical bills and repair bills of the injured party if they do end up causing an accident.

Why Buying Car Insurance is the Answer

Just because you have the option to pay a fee to avoid buying insurance in Virginia does not mean that this is a practical option.

With the average expenditure for liability coverage coming in at $401.50 per year, it is much better to pay for insurance coverage than to spend $500 every year and have absolutely no protection.

Even if you were to buy the state minimum options, you would have a total of $70,000 of coverage that you would not have otherwise. Add in the fact that the insurer will pay for your legal defense if you are taken to court, and you can see why buying auto insurance is a must better way to stay in compliance.

What happens if you do not comply?

Being uninsured is not against the law if you pay the fee, but being uninsured without paying the fee can lead to serious penalties.

If you are caught driving without coverage by law enforcement or by the DMV, you face a license suspension and a registrations suspension. To reinstate your license and your registration you must pay a $500 fine and also show that you have proof of insurance.

If you cannot do this, you will pay an additional $500 uninsured fee. The plates and license will stay suspended unless you pay for them to be reinstated.

What You Should Know About Optional Coverage

In a state where it is not illegal to drive completely uninsured, it is crucial that you find coverage options that protect you.

It can be very dangerous to drive around on public roads in Suffolk and to get hit by drivers who choose not to insure themselves but who cannot afford to pay for your bills on their own.

Considering the fact that at least 10 percent of drivers throughout the state of Virginia are uninsured, buying supplemental protection should be a priority.

Here are supplemental options to price and to add on to your policy rate quotes:

  • Comprehensive & Collision - Comprehensive and collision are both physical damage coverages. Comprehensive will pay for damage caused by non-moving perils like fire, theft, and vandalism. Collision will pay for when you are in an accident regardless of fault.
  • Medical Payment - Medical payment is very important, especially when you do not have medical insurance or you have a health plan with a lot of fees. This coverage pays up to the limit, per person, for medical expenses that are incurred from an accident.
  • Uninsured Motorist - While it is not required in Virginia, Uninsured Motorist is a coverage that will pay to protect you if someone who chooses not to buy insurance hits you. This coverage will act like liability coverage to pay for your bodily injury expenses when the person who causes the accident does not have bodily injury or enough coverage.

How to Keep the Cost of Your Suffolk Car Insurance Down

Insurance premiums in Virginia are based on your zip code, your age, your driving experience, your driving record, your accident history, and your vehicle.

There are several little risk factors that go into calculating auto insurance premiums, and every little factor can raise your premiums up and up until it gets so high that you cannot afford it.

Most people know that higher limits and add-on coverages will equal higher premiums, but that is not always the case. If you take advantage of discounts and low-rated classifications, you can still keep those premiums down while you build a very comprehensive Suffolk car insurance policy.

Before you elect to buy state minimum limits, keep these tips in mind to help lower your premiums:

  • Insure all vehicles with the same carrier for discounts
  • Maintain a good driving record by taking traffic school when cited
  • Price the cost of insurance for cars before buying one with a poor record
  • Raise your deductibles if you can afford to pay them at the time of a loss
  • Insure your home or business with the same company
  • Take optional driver education classes when you are under 25 or over 55
  • Pay your premiums annually instead of monthly
  • Remove full coverage if the value of the car is less than $2000
  • Require young drivers to get good grades to keep their license
  • Comparison shop

Comparison shopping is key when you want to find the best rates.

All companies set their own unique rates, and some companies are far more competitive than others. To locate the companies that have set the best rates for drivers in your demographic you can use a rate comparison tool.

These online platforms give you the power to price the cost of insurance with several different companies at once. Simply get your declarations page, enter your personal information in the fields, and then compare companies and the costs to make a choice.

Are you searching for car insurance? By entering your zip code below you can have access to multiple car insurance rates from companies in your area! Get started today!

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